Keeping the conversation flowing
As the COVID-19 outbreak escalates, we follow up our blog, ‘First steps for your emergency Communications Plan’, by setting out key considerations with regards to Disaster Recovery (DR) plans for your business telephony.
If a mass quarantine is implemented in the UK there will be a large demand on business communications suppliers and maintainers to respond, so businesses need to have a DR plan in place as soon as possible.
Diverting your incoming calls
Do you know what type of lines you have and who provides them? Whether you have Analogue, ISDN2e or IDSDN30e will affect the choices available to you when organising a divert.
Points to consider:
- You may need to order new services to implement a divert, which could cause a delay
- You may have to be on site to initiate a divert, which might not be possible in a lockdown situation
- The diverted, outbound leg of the call may be chargeable, effectively meaning you will be charged for inbound calls
- You might be limited to diverting all calls to one number which could prevent you answering multiple inbound calls
- As some divert options use both an inbound and outbound channel, you may need to increase the number of voice channels you have
If you have SIP trunks, your DR plan should be relatively straightforward as your supplier can quickly divert calls to an alternative location, a mobile phone, to voicemail, or another automated service.
SIP Trunk Call Manager (STCM) is a centralised inbound call management service which gives you carrier level control of inbound numbers, so diverts can be implemented instantly through a web portal or mobile app.
If your main number (and DDIs) does not use a location-specific area code, it can be easily diverted.
Which telephone system do you have on site and who maintains it? Most systems allow you to divert DDIs to different locations – either by re-programming or, if configured, by a pre-programmed option.
Points to consider:
- Can your maintainer access your system remotely? If they need to visit site to carry out the re-programming work, make sure you act before any quarantine restrictions are in place
- You will only be able to divert each DDI to one number – so you may have issues answering multiple calls
- As the calls will be diverted ‘system-side’, the extra outbound diverted call will be chargeable and will also take up a voice channel
- You may need to pay your maintainer to do the programming if it’s not already set up or included in your maintenance contract
If you have a Cloud PBX you are already in a position to work from anywhere. Depending on the type of system and the devices you use, it should be relatively simple to implement a DR plan.
Points to consider:
- Your handsets may need to be reconfigured to work outside of your local network
- Home routers can sometimes block VOIP calls
- Moving devices from office to homes means someone has to collect and distribute them – this could be restricted in a quarantine situation
Many businesses, including our own, have already implemented home working and many others may be forced to close business premises in the coming weeks. If government sanctions come into force which restrict engineer site visits, implementing the above will become more difficult. Test your DR strategy now to minimise problems later.
Over the course of the coming days we will provide further guidance, including information on IT networks and security.
Get in touch
Whether you are an existing customer or not, we are experts in helping organisations work remotely and securely, so if you need assistance with anything mentioned above or other professional advice on keeping your business communications operational, our team can help. Please contact us on 0161 788 0000 or email email@example.com
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0161 788 0000
We pride ourselves on offering businesses award-winning customer service and first-class advice on every aspect of business communications. We would love to learn more about you and your specific communications needs, so please get in touch.
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